Looking for the advice... I’m having a hard time deciding between a band and a DJ. If you have booked, please tell me how you came to the conclusion. If you’ve already gotten married please tell me about your decision and experience. Thanks!
I ended up with a band for the ceremony and reception music, plus a brass band. We only planned on around 50 guests and had a three hour cocktail style reception, so I didn't want a dance party vibe (though there was dancing). Our band was small, perfect for our event and really made our "budget" wedding feel much less so. Plus, we were able to get live music for about the same cost as a DJ - a good live band is often much more expensive, understandably.
It really depends on what kind of vibe you are going for. Personally I booked a DJ my reasoning for doing so is that you can cater to everyone's music taste. You can have them do Top 40, maybe a few country songs, R&B and rock so that all your guests get to hear something they enjoy and want to dance to.
I find with a band yes they can preform different genres but because it's the same people singing all the music will sounds the same. IMO everyone has their own taste though.
For us it came down to our budget. We prioritized venue/food/alcohol so a DJ was a lot cheaper than a live band. We ended up finding a DJ who could play acoustic guitar so he sang and played guitar during our cocktail hour and DJ’d our reception.
What style wedding or what vibe are you wanting for your wedding? Do you plan on wanting to see the dance floor packed at all times or do you really just want background music? Are you having a early afternoon reception or an evening reception? I have been to one wedding that had a live band and no one danced like at all it was sort of awkward. I have been to plenty of weddings that had a DJ and the over all time was awesome. They were all very interactive and made it feel like a celebration!!
A band tends to be much more expensive and takes up much more space, but a truly good wedding band can pack a dance floor as well as a practiced DJ. Bands also take a break or two in which they play music that doesn’t translate as well live (like “Yeah!” By usher, line dances, “Low” etc). Having a band elevates the “classiness” so to speak of your reception, but it’s very important to book a WEDDING band or a WEDDING dj, as they will know how to properly move you through the evening and MC the night. At the end of the day, it reallt comes down to your budget and how much space your reception hall has.
Band. My hubby said “absolutely no DJ!” (I’m fine with a DJ for top 40 songs & a party vibe). Anyhoo, we hired a 7-piece band and singer + Frank Sinatra impersonator for our 50’s/60’s local reception. Both were amazing and perfect for our crowd (35-65 years old)! Happy with our decision. Entertainment was our #1 priority for our local reception.
But the 7-piece band did cost $2300 and we probably could have found a DJ for $1000. The band also had staging & audio requirements (more $$$&dollar. If you have a lot of 20 year old guests they might prefer a DJ sound variety more.
We hired a band because the weddings we’ve been to that had bands were so fun!!! It’s like a concert experience for your guests, versus a DJ that plays the same 30+ songs at every wedding. DJs are more diverse and can offer you that specific song you want... but a lot of bands will let you play a playlist of your choosing through their speaker system during cocktail hour, dinner, and 10 minute band breaks just like a DJ would. The extra cost of a band was worth it to us!
We are on a tight budget, so we hired spotify. We have added a line on the rsvps for song requests. Obviously we have over all say on which songs get played, but that will help so everyone gets to hear a song they like. We like most music, so we are good with our guests picking music for us.
i want music throughout but few affordable bands have sets that long so we’ll need dj for filling in (probably go back and forth so band has plenty of down time because playing live is hard work worth the effect of live band but also can be a put off if they’re pouring sweat in my opinion)
FH is a musician and we are going with a trip to play during our ceremony and a dj otherwise. He would have preferred a band but couldn't afford it for the whole night and we don't have the space at the venue
The biggest thing was budget. In our area a live band could cost anywhere from 3K depending on the size of the band. Even at the low end, that wasn’t in our budget. We went with the DJ that was recommended by our venue.
I love weddings with a live band! Especially bands with a lot of brass instruments. We were on a budget though, and our DJ came with our venue. Plus our venue was more intimate and would no way have fit a band. Our DJ was very interactive and we had a great time!